Esquire's best jokes of all time
June 1, 2015 9:53 PM   Subscribe

"I can't even fit all of you in my eyes." Esquires polls 22 comics on the best jokes of all time. Includes videos.
posted by gottabefunky (48 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
The one that got me was the one from Anthony Jeselnik, a sentence I never thought I'd write.
posted by klangklangston at 10:07 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have no idea what Maria Bamford is taking about, but as usual I read it in her voice and was charmed.
posted by maryr at 10:31 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


That was the one that got to me too.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:32 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmm, is it just me or did it not do what it said on the tin?
posted by oceanview at 10:53 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wanda Sykes talked about Barack Obama in her I'ma Be Me special. She said: First black president. I'm so happy, 'cause now I can relax a little bit. You know, I can loosen up. Don't have to be so black all the time. Don't have to be so dignified . . . I can buy whole watermelons now. I no longer have to grow them in my closet under my weed lamp. —Phoebe Robinson

I love Wanda Sykes.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:59 PM on June 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


She comes out in her riding outfit looking gorgeous, she looks at the horse, and she says, "Why is my horse painted green?" The big guy responds: "You wanna fuck?"

Pretty much a parable about internet dating sites.
posted by ctmf at 11:04 PM on June 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


comments worth reading this time
posted by telstar at 11:29 PM on June 1, 2015


head scratchers, the lot.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 11:46 PM on June 1, 2015


I've read many interviews with comedians whose stand-ups I love, and one thing I've noticed is that, maybe not most of the time, but at least some of the time, what tickles them is usually a joke that would bomb on stage, and they know it. They know what works with an audience, but personally they know what they like.

I'm giddy that Mitch Hedberg made it on there twice.
posted by numaner at 11:52 PM on June 1, 2015 [16 favorites]


head scratchers, the lot.

Fine, that just leaves more laughs for me.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:54 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


maybe these comics should start reading reddit
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:56 PM on June 1, 2015


As usual, only Doug Stanhope's bit made me laugh.
posted by gideonswann at 12:37 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is another list of jokes.
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "because," he said "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."
posted by asok at 2:27 AM on June 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


Connect for Maria's joke can be found in a link at that article. Is not as baffling add it first appears (but it's just as charming).
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:25 AM on June 2, 2015


(including above, from left: Mike Birbiglia, Jessi Klein, Wyatt Cenac, Phoeboe Robinson, Hari Kondabolu, Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman)

There is no amount of money I would not pay to sit at that table for an hour.
posted by Etrigan at 3:28 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


As always, the Peter Cook joke was the best.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:39 AM on June 2, 2015


Equire's Best Examples of Your Mileage May Vary of All Time. (By the way, maybe ask comedy writers what their favorite joke is if you're going to render a vast majority of them in text form.)
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:01 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


None of those jokes made me do more than smirk. This confirms yet again my belief that most comedy just isn't funny.
posted by scratch at 5:01 AM on June 2, 2015


I chuckled but didn't guffaw. This just goes to show that I have a better sense of humor than several people who do comedy for a living, he typed on the internet
posted by shakespeherian at 5:34 AM on June 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


Love that the One-legged Tarzan sketch was called out, but that is not the funniest line in it. Not when there's "I have nothing against your right leg. The trouble is, neither have you."
posted by Mchelly at 5:35 AM on June 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


Mchelly has linked to the Peter Cook/Dudley Moore sketch, the whole thing is worthwhile. Comedy doesn't travel and to a Brit this is a mostly un-amusing list, well the Joe Mande made me smile, but it and "frayed knot" are schoolboy-level jokes.

Jokes are entirely about the delivery (see Peter Cook), seeing them written down like this is like looking at a page of dried flowers, especially when described as the "Greatest jokes ever told".
posted by epo at 6:00 AM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


A string and his friends walk into a bar, and the string goes up to get a drink and the bartender says, "We don't serve strings here." So the string ties himself in a loop and does up the top of his head and then goes up to the bar, and the bartender goes, "Uh . . . are you a string?" And the string goes, "No, I'm a frayed knot." —Kumail Nanjiani

I, too, think this is quite funny.
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:54 AM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


"When I have a kid, know what I'm going to name them? Pizza Pussy Santa Claus. Chances are, everyone likes at least one of those things."

- Dave Attell
posted by dr_dank at 6:55 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favorite joke wasn't in the article, the the punchline is

"How do you think I feel, kid? I gotta walk back all by myself."
posted by Renoroc at 7:32 AM on June 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


"Oh that's right, your brother asked to borrow the car this morning."
posted by dr_dank at 7:58 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


*Esquire cannot guarantee that these jokes will be great or funny to everyone.
posted by chavenet at 8:07 AM on June 2, 2015


"Play it? If I can get its pajamas off, I'm gonna fuck it!"
posted by palomar at 8:27 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Agreed that the motorcycle one was great. I dunno, I liked reading them even when they weren't particularly funny to me. It's interesting to see what jokes comedians like personally.
posted by aka burlap at 8:40 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


horsecock
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:42 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was surprised that any actually made me laugh considering the jokes were completely divorced from their respective deliveries, and considering the premise of the article raised my expectations quite a bit.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:44 AM on June 2, 2015


I've read many interviews with comedians whose stand-ups I love, and one thing I've noticed is that, maybe not most of the time, but at least some of the time, what tickles them is usually a joke that would bomb on stage, and they know it. They know what works with an audience, but personally they know what they like.

Yes, this is so true!

I think if you are so steeped in comedy, not just the jokes but the theory and the craft and the philosophy and all that, you can get to a point where you appreciate a really funny joke but you don't necessarily find it funny. This is what's behind that one Louis CK bit about how he loves his five year old daughter's jokes because he doesn't know what will happen. And also what's behind "the aristocrats."

I have some friends who do comedy, and this is just what they're like. Regular jokes are too easy, too expected.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:50 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


These were ok, but no better than a random list of 22 Jack Handey bits.
posted by jetsetsc at 9:00 AM on June 2, 2015


I hate to say it but this one may have benefited from being presented as a buzzfeed-type listicle with video/audio. That Louis CK one about 9/11 masturbation is pretty good, though.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:37 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


No Aristocrats?
posted by TedW at 10:24 AM on June 2, 2015


Tying in with the "not predicting the punchline" bit, my favorite joke was actually from the article's comments:

A little boy is walking along the road and comes upon a welder's mask. It's the coolest thing he's ever seen, and he picks it up, puts it on, flips it down, and keeps walking. A guy in a truck comes by, slows down and offers the kid a ride. The kid gets in. They drive down the road a little bit, and the man says, "Kid, do you know what a handy is?" The kid flips up the mask, looks at him, and says "No," then flips it back down. They ride along a little further and the guy asks, "Kid, do you know what a blowjob is?" The kid flips up the mask and says, annoyed now, "No." He flips the mask back down. The truck driver can't contain himself now, and ask the boy, "Kid, do you know what pedophilia is?" The kid flips the mask up and says, exasperated, "Look mister, I'll level with you. I'm not really a welder."
posted by craven_morhead at 11:20 AM on June 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


No Aristocrats?

Saying the Aristocrats is your favorite joke is like saying the diving board is your favorite Olympic event. Not the dives, the board.
posted by Etrigan at 11:23 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Heard from a friend:

What's the worst thing Willie Nelson can say to you after sex?



I'm not Willie Nelson
posted by wcfields at 11:58 AM on June 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


From that Guardian article describing the list: "The most popular jokes were inoffensive ones and often included friendly jibes at the expense of husbands, wives, blondes, and foreigners."

Hmm...
posted by maryr at 12:26 PM on June 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


"I'm telling everybody."
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:40 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


"You're not gonna like Thursdays"
posted by dr_dank at 3:50 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


"To get to the other side."

Am I doing this right?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:09 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Number one hundred and forty three!"

*waits eagerly for laughter and applause*
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:10 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


"It's driving me nuts!?"
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 4:15 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


...who says I'm NOT?
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:00 PM on June 2, 2015


So the genie asks the third guy, "Why are you carrying the passenger-side door from a 1984 Buick Skylark?"

And the guy replies, "You know, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect I should've brought water instead. Please help me, I think I'm going to die out here."
posted by rifflesby at 5:19 PM on June 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Which makes me think of that TV drama trope, the solo punchline. You come into a scene of a group of people shooting the breeze, or getting a meeting going or whatever, and you get what sounds like an excellent end to a joke whose beginning you missed. Certainly, everyone's laughing.

"So the lobster said, Screw you, I'm from Brooklyn"
[LAUGHTER]
"As he's going over the cliff, his friend yells after him, Whatja mean, NEXT time?" [LAUGHTER]
"Sure, it looks like poop, it smells like poop, but have you ever seen a banjo poop?"[LAUGHTER]

Give us the goods, writers. Full jokes or no jokes. This is not negotiable.
posted by Devonian at 6:35 PM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


What's the difference between Don Draper and a baby seal?

Only one of them likes a Canadian Club.
posted by 4ster at 7:52 PM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Wrecked him? Damn near killed him." The ultimate punchline in search of a joke.
posted by drinkmaildave at 9:56 PM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


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